Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Tolkien’
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HarperCollins’ UK division will publish J.R.R. Tolkien‘s previously unpublished epic poem, “The Fall of Arthur.” In this work, Tolkien imagines how the legendary King Arthur spent the last days of his life.
Tolkien’s son, Christopher Tolkien, edited the poem and wrote three essays about the literary world of King Arthur for this book. According to Examiner.com, this title will be published in May 2013.
The Guardian has more: “Running to more than 200 pages, Tolkien’s story was inspired by Geoffrey of Monmouth and Thomas Malory‘s tales of King Arthur, and is told in narrative verse. Set in the last days of Arthur’s reign, the poem sees Tolkien tackling the old king’s battle to save his country from Mordred the usurper, opening as Arthur and Gawain go to war.”
With the publication of JRR Tolkien‘s 500-stanza epic poem, “The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun,” the late author’s son worried that many readers would find the book difficult.
Christopher Tolkien told the Guardian the book follows a Norse poetic cycle that will seem foreign to most readers–the Edda collection. The 84-year-old editor said he used a manuscript his father wrote in the 1930s while teaching Old Norse at Oxford.
The author’s son also addressed rumors that he guarded his father’s work with wild animals: “In the full form of the story I keep not one, but a whole troop of wild boars, expressly in order to chase off Tolkien fans who are imagined to lurk in the woods that surround my house … I don’t think they would be at all suitable as guardians even if I wanted them.” (Via Colleen Lindsay)
Should any of us be surprised that the “lost” J.R.R. Tolkien novel THE CHILDREN OF HURIN (edited by his son Christopher Tolkien) is selling like gangbusters since its worldwide release on April 17th? Certainly, as the AP reports, not Houghton Mifflin, celebrating the news that more than 900,000 copies are in print worldwide – nearly double the original total printed.
The new book, a prequel to Tolkien’s mega-selling epic THE LORD OF THE RINGS, was started by Tolkien in 1918 but eventually abandoned. The author died in 1973, and his son spent the next 30 years working on the manuscript. Excerpts from HURIN, which includes the elves and dwarves of Tolkien’s other works, had been published over the years, but there was never a single narrative until this spring. And now that there is one, it’s topping numerous best-seller lists and Houghton Mifflin has increased its printing from 250,000 to 550,000. In Britain, copies in print have been raised from 250,000 to 360,000 by publisher HarperCollins. How that translates into real (or even Bookscan) numbers is another story, but one that won’t change things by all that much…
It would seem as if a new J.R.R. Tolkien novel counts as event publishing, and certainly the upcoming release party, and HarperCollins UK’s splashy website seem to indicate such for the April 17 publication worldwide of THE CHILDREN OF HURIN, which Tolkien started in 1918 but eventually abandoned. His son, Christopher Tolkien, picked up the slack while Alan Lee provided illustrations. The Independent reports that the book, whose contents are being jealously guarded by publisher HarperCollins – is described as “an epic story of adventure, tragedy, fellowship and heroism.”
Tolkien experts are already tipping THE CHILDREN OF HURIN – which features significant battle scenes and at least one major twist – for big budget Hollywood treatment, even though the Tolkien estate says there are no plans in the works. Takings from the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy box office takings to date total some 1.5 billion pounds. Chris Crawshaw, chairman of the Tolkien Society, said: “It would probably make a very good movie, if anyone can secure the film rights. “Tolkien saw his work as one long history of Middle Earth: from the beginning of creation to the end of the Third Age. THE CHILDREN OF HURIN is an early chapter in that bigger story.”